Ever since Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper – it’s like a regular newspaper, only shitter – took over sponsorship of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival we’ve been extremely appreciative of the opportunity to run the exact same story every single year: oh look, they’ve got people who know nothing about comedy reviewing comedy and they’ve stuffed it up. Sheesh, it’s no wonder stand-ups are notoriously hair-trigger haters of all forms of criticism.
So really, the only surprise about this particular car crash is that for once it’s taken place before the Festival has actually begun:
— Rhys Nicholson (@rhysnicholson) March 1, 2017
On the surface an article that says “if you like that popular comedian then go see this act at the Festival” isn’t the absolute worst idea ever. What is the worst idea ever is to pair off comedians based on things that aren’t their act – their gender, for example, or their race. Which seems to be what this article by Tianna Nadalin did.
Women! They’re all the same in the dark right guys?
Nope nope nope.
“The original Asian funny man”
That’s right comedy fans – Middle-Eastern people are scary! Sweet Middle-Eastern baby Jesus.
As you’d really really hope but maybe not expect (Trump! Trump! Trump!) in 2017, there was a prompt wave of outrage from various comedians and comedy fans online, and by this afternoon the article was gone:
Which is one of those results that seems like a win until you think about it: sure, now the comedians aren’t being named in a very dodgy article based around the kind of casual racism we all hoped had been expunged from, if not society as a whole, then at least all the parts that aren’t easily avoidable elderly relatives. But now the Herald Sun can pretend it never happened and that their MICF coverage for 2017 is just their usual brand of kak-handed blather rather than stuff that’s actually full-on offensive.
Hopefully if this kind of thing is forced to linger instead of just vanishing into the ether then eventually enough pressure can be brought to bear to effect real change in the way that the Melbourne International Comedy Festival conducts its’ media arrangements because clearly the Herald-Sun is oh who are we trying to fool it’s been shit for the last six years and obviously the people running MICF are willing to put up with all manner of sexist, racist, incompetent coverage for the cash. Comedy: you have to laugh.